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Syria and China Lead in Top International Stories of the Year at the 74th OPC Awards
Tom Brokaw Receives Lifetime Achievement Award; Diane Foley, mother of James Foley, will light the candle in memory of the Journalists Killed and Missing in Action
NEW YORK, April 24 — 2012 saw key international press coverage originating from Syria and China. Those two countries dominated the annual awards from the Overseas Press Club, with both the Associated Press and National Geographic capturing three prizes each.
Syria dominated the breaking news categories, with reporters and photographers taking home a large number of awards for their coverage of that dangerous conflict. Other stories focused on China’s government and state-owned enterprise corruption, as well as corporate espionage.
Tom Brokaw, anchor of NBC News from 1982 to 2004, will receive the President’s Award for lifetime achievement. Diane Foley, mother of James Foley, who was kidnapped in Syria on Thanksgiving day last year, will light the candle in memory of journalists who have died in the line of duty in 2012 and in honor of those injured, missing and abducted.
Other news organizations winning awards include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, CNN, Harper’s, CBS News, WGBH, WBEZ, Bloomberg News and Agence France-Presse. Recognizing the changed media landscape, 2012 is the first year that the OPC incorporated the online media platform into many of its awards previously designated only for the print medium.
Raja Abdulrahim of The Los Angeles Times won the prestigious Hal Boyle Award for best newspaper reporting from abroad for her series “Inside Syria,” a vivid and powerful series of reports from inside Syria range from bomb making lessons to kidnapping and government tactics.
The Robert Capa Gold Medal Award, which honors press photography requiring exceptional courage and enterprise, went to Fabio Bucciarelli, whose combat images from Syria were published by Agence France-Presse.
“Covering the world has never been more dangerous and that is reflected in the stories that were prominent in the awards this year,” said OPC President Michael Serrill. “We pay tribute to the men and women at the forefront of covering news around the world.”
There were also tales from more remote corners of the world. Especially noteworthy is a combination print, radio and video package by WBEZ and ProPublica that uncovers for the first time details of the military massacre that destroyed a village in Guatemala 30 years ago.
There were 441 entries in this year’s competition.